Kindly sponsored by a member of the International Dendrology Society.
John Grimshaw (2016)
Grimshaw, J. (2016), 'Stewartia villosa' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Evergreen tree, 8–20 m. Bark of mature trees unknown; first year twigs spreading villous or appressed pubescent. Leaves (4.5–)6–13(–21) × (2.4–)3–5.5(–7) cm, elliptic-oblong, oblong, or lanceolate, leathery, both surfaces villous or pubescent but sometimes glabrescent, 10–16 pairs of veins, margin weakly serrate, apex acute to shortly acuminate, base rounded; petiole 1–2 cm, spreading villous or appressed pubescent, wings c. 2 mm wide. Flowers solitary; pedicel 6–8 mm, villous; bracteoles lanceolate, 0.8–1.5 cm, villous; sepals 1.5–1.8 × (0.4–)0.6–0.8 cm, unequal, ovate-lanceolate, apex acute, villous externally; corolla yellowish-white, lobes c. 1.8 × 1.2 cm, obovate; stamens c. 1 cm, filaments fused at the base; ovary conical, tomentose. Capsule c. 1.8 cm, conical. Flowering June–July (China). (Ming & Bartholomew 2007).
Distribution China Guangdong, Guangxi, southern Jiangxi
Habitat Forests, 200–1200 m asl.
USDA Hardiness Zone 9-10
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Not evaluated (NE)
This little-known tree from southern China is in cultivation in southwestern England, but as yet its potential as a tree or its long-term hardiness are unknown. Images of a young specimen growing in South Devon show attractive glossy dark green leaves with a leathery texture and stiffly serrate margins, held on reddish-brown young twigs.